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workshops

Update May 2024: 2024 workshops are sold out but 2025 have just been released. Shortly the dates for the 2025 Venetian Lagoon workshop and the Sicilian Spring Harvest workshop will be available too! Stay tuned on my newsletter for the latest workshop offerings. Culinary workshops for 2025 at Enoteca Marilu, San Miniato: Artichoke workshop 7-12 April Midsummer workshop 23-27 June Summer harvest workshop 7-12 July Wine harvest workshop 8-13 September Autumn workshop 13-17 October White Truffle workshop 18-22 November About the workshops These are 5 day food and wine workshops based in our cooking school and wine bar in our lovely hilltop town, San Miniato.
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At Easter 2023, my husband Marco and I finally opened our own cooking school and enoteca, Enoteca Marilu. It’s a small, cosy space in an ex-stable in a hidden laneway of our town, San Miniato. We waited for 19 months of restoration and paperwork (and even a crowdfunding campaign in the middle of it all to help give us a little extra push) before we could open the space and welcome our first guests and our first year was a great success, with almost completely booked out classes!
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Gohan events coming up! This is my first book tour since March 2019, so I am thrilled to be able to come and meet people and celebrate the book with delicious food and chats. I know I need to still visit so many other places, but sadly this is a self-funded trip and it’s very close to Christmas time when bookshops and restaurants get so busy, but if you have an idea for the next book tour’s event location, please let me know!
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VENICE — The Lagoon Workshop, 2-7 May 2024 I’ve only been back from the Venetian Lagoon Workshop for a month (read more about the trip here if you missed it) but every time I spend time on the lagoon it leaves a mark on me and this time I’ve decided to try to keep that magic by staying even longer on the lagoon and adding more of the lesser known islands onto the itinerary.
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Introducing our new 5 day Seasonal Workshops at Enoteca Marilu! This is a dream project that we’ve been floating around since 2007, when we thought up an idea to host wine tastings on a medieval rooftop tower in Florence. We finally found our very own space to host cooking classes, wine tastings and a natural wine shop — right in the heart of Tuscany, in our little hilltop town of San Miniato.
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To celebrate the release of my upcoming cookbook, Cinnamon and Salt: Cicchetti in Venice: Small Bites from the Lagoon City, I am offering a very special trip that I like to call The Lagoon Workshop! The idea here is to introduce you to a part of Venice that is so often overlooked by visitors to Venice but yet is the “internal organs” of the city, as activist Jane da Mosto says: the lagoon.
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It began with 120 kg of tomatoes. Six huge boxes of small, somewhat oval tomatoes of a Sicilian variety called siccagno, from the word secco, dry. They’re grown in tiny bushes, low to the ground, without any water at all. When you cut them open they’re just flesh, no juice, and deep, deep red. They taste almost savoury, as if they’ve been sprinkled with salt.
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{UPDATE: We have moved the date of this workshop forward to 30 August- 4 September 2021!} If you love cooking and all of Italy’s regional food traditions then probably you have already heard of Anna Tasca Lanza cooking school in Sicily. It is run by Fabrizia Lanza, whose mother Anna founded the school in the 1980s. Every year Fabrizia hosts a number of students from all over the world at Case Vecchie, Fabrizia’s beautiful nineteenth century property in central Sicily with organic vegetable gardens, fruit and olive orchards, wheat fields and 500 hectares of vineyard (the Tasca d’Almerita winery).
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I have always loved wandering the Tuscan countryside (or Melbourne city!), picking plants and flowers to inspire a meal. And ever since learning how to dye fabric with foraged plants (see below for a ‘recipe’), I’ve fallen in love with the idea of sharing this beautiful, sustainable process, along with making handmade natural inks over a truly creative, inspiring few days.
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One of the highlights of 2019 was hosting the White Truffle and Wine Culinary Retreat here in Tuscany with my husband Marco Lami. We had 13 international guests (from as far as Argentina and Canada and as close as Abruzzo!) together in a big, traditional Tuscan farmhouse, surrounded by woods. It may have rained quite intensely (it was November after all), but we donned rain boots to visit the olive groves and go truffle hunting and during downtime we curled up in front of the fireplace to play cards, to chat and sip wine.
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I have been wanting to talk about wine on my blog, with the help of my sommelier husband, Marco Lami, and now, off the back of our very successful White Truffle and Wine Retreat a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d share some of the wines we enjoyed that Marco chose for us. “My idea [during the retreat] was to give another perspective of Tuscan wine,” Marco told me, “Tuscan whites tend to be fairly neutral.
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{UPDATE: SOLD OUT!} I’m so excited to be able to announce that for our new culinary workshop next summer∫, we have Cressida McNamara from Pecora Dairy on board to teach cheese making. Together with me and Marco Lami, my sommelier husband, we will be hosting five wonderful days of cheese, wine and Tuscan food in the Val d’Orcia, one of the most breathtaking parts of Tuscany.
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I knew before I even got there that I would fall in love Andros, a mountainous, rugged Greek island, the northernmost of the Cyclades archipelago. When Allegra asked me to host part of a creative workshop at her stunning, cliffside B&B, Melisses, that sits between Chora, the capital, and the port, I jumped at the chance! Mornings began with beautiful breakfasts of summer fruit, copious amounts of thick Greek yoghurt, tahini, and Allegra’s homemade oven-roasted granola, flecked with flower petals and plenty of nuts, plus “freddo espresso”, the Greek version of caffe shakerato, in other words, espresso and ice shaken together.
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Book right away for July 2-5 here or September 10-13 here! We have had such an incredible response to our White truffle and Wine retreat in November that we couldn’t wait to share a few more dates for similar — but ‘mini’ versions — food and wine focused workshops. The first will be in July 2-5, 2019, and the second will be in September 10-13, 2019, which will coincide with the wine harvest season.
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One of the highlights of 2017 for me was hosting a food and styling workshop in late October together with two warm and talented women, Saghar Setareh of Labnoon and Alice Adams of Latteria Studio in Rome (for a group of equally wonderful women), in the most stunning location — Masseria Potenti in Puglia’s wine country of Manduria, in the province of Taranto.
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I’m so very excited to announce my involvement in a workshop in October this year in, what is for me, the most authentic and heart-racing region of Italy — Puglia. I’ve never eaten so well as in Puglia, or been so entranced by a place’s open spaces, its ancient olive trees, its cheap produce markets and unusual fruit and vegetables, its elegant baroque and white-washed towns, its turquoise water and deep red earth.
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I’m about to embark on the Australian book tour for Acquacotta, my second cookbook. I’m guessing this is maybe what it feels like to have a second child, you’re just as excited, and a tiny bit more confident because you have been through it before, you promise to yourself to do all the things better, but the universe will likely throw in some surprises just to keep you on your toes!
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I couldn’t have imagined a better way to finish my Australian book tour than this. Perfect weather, the unbelievably picturesque country setting of Mickey Robertson’s home at Glenmore House, a tabletop full of spectacular props, baskets of fresh produce and a group of 11 keen and creative people wanting to learn some Florentine recipes and practice their photography skills. Luisa Brimble, right off the back of one of the Local is Lovely workshops, led the photography session, generously giving the group her best tips and tricks for styling, shooting manual in natural light and editing photographs.
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